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Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid Preview

February 26, 2012 By Angela Asante
There is no better time than this weekend for Rayo Vallecano to try their luck against Real Madrid. Rayo have won their last 3 games whereas Madrid must bounce back from their 1-1 draw in Europe.

Can Rayo Vallecano do a favour to Barcelona by getting their revenge on Real Madrid?Team News

The bad news for Real Madrid is that they won’t have Angel di Maria available because the player aggravated his muscle injury last weekend against Racing Santander. Mourinho may consequently call up Jose Callejon to fill Di Maria’s place in the starting XI against Rayo Vallecano.

Without Karim Benzema who injured himself against CSKA Moskva on Tuesday, Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain is expected to start for Real Madrid. Higuain will be tasked to embarrass Casado and Arribas.

These two Rayo defenders are done serving their one-match suspension and could feature on Sunday. There’s more good news for the hosts as striker Michu has been made available.

 

Form

Rayo Vallecano are in formidable form lately. They’ve won their last 3 matches, making Real Zaragoza, Getafe and Levante victims of their February revolution. Vallecano occupy the 8th spot in La Liga’s table. Last weekend’s 8-goal thriller against Levante, which they won 5-3, will inspire them to create more surprises.

They will fancy their chances on Sunday so Jose Mourinho and his men should watch out before stumbling to their second away defeat of the season. Rayo Vallecano v Real Madrid represents both teams' last game of the month. Can the hosts go through February unbeaten?

The Spanish giants will try to respond to this question with a big ‘no’. However, Real Madrid failed to secure victory in the Champions League against CSKA Moskva in midweek and the fear of crashing out in the Round of 16 of the competition could play on their minds. Therefore, it is Mourinho's job to make sure he rallies his players against Rayo Vallecano.

Real Madrid ended Matchday 23 with a 10-point advantage over second-placed Barcelona. Their mission now is to overcome the pressure of being at the top of the table.

Rayo Vallecano’s last 3 matches:

February 5, 2012: Real Zaragoza 1-2 Rayo Vallecano
February 12, 2012: Rayo Vallecano 2-0 Getafe
February 19, 2012: Levante 3-5 Rayo Vallecano

Real Madrid’s last 3 matches:

February 4, 2012: Getafe 0-1 Real Madrid
February 12, 2012: Real Madrid 4-2 Levante
February 18, 2012: Real Madrid 4-0 Racing Santander

Previous Meetings

April 6, 2002: Real Madrid 3-1 Rayo Vallecano
November 9, 2002: Rayo Vallecano 2-3 Real Madrid
April 5, 2003: Real Madrid 3-1 Rayo Vallecano
September 24, 2011: Real Madrid 6-2 Rayo Vallecano

Winner

Based on the last 4 meetings, Real Madrid are poised to pursue their good form against Rayo Vallecano. As much as rivals Barcelona are waiting for Los Blancos to commit mistakes, Jose Mourinho wants to make sure his men survive the pressure of being current league leaders. Rayo Vallecano are in fantastic form and the match could be a high-scoring one. Eventually, Real Madrid might do just enough to edge it.

Prediction: Rayo Vallecano 2-3 Real Madrid


 


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